Ending another typical workday, I pulled the van into the garage, looked about to find what needed to go into the house, heard Audrey going on about borrowing money for a book fair and while she spoke, an eerie haze filled the room. Smoke, steam, evil spirits...something was awry. I had just a couple of nights prior been thinking about how important it was for me to keep Hot Red Speed in working order -- for oh, say, three more years -- and this turn of events...not looking good. I popped the hood to find diluted anti-freeze spewing from a crack in my top radiator hose. It was the easiest diagnosis I've ever made on my car, but still dreaded the resolution. I had definitely not carved any extra time into my night to play mechanic.
More flustered than I would have liked, I made my way into the house, where the kids were waiting for me and each had a complaint of some variety. My sense of humor had already been pushed to its limits so I poured a glass of wine and tackled dinner. The weather was a bit on the dreary side and the kids had lamented that we hadn't made tamale pie over the winter, so that was my plan. But first I had to pressure cook the beans. After 30 minutes, I released the steam from the pot, or at least most of it, impatiently opened the lid...and in keeping with my theme for the afternoon, spewed pressurized legumes all over the stove and its surroundings. Deep breath. Quiet giggle. Quick clean-up. Then I put the rest of dinner together. Turned the beans into chili, ground the corn to make the cornbread topping, tossed it in the oven then carefully drove to the parts store for a new hose. As I was leaving, I asked the young man, "Any tricks I should know?" and he said it was very straight-forward and that he could probably do it for me. I opted to head home and avoid burning dinner.
After eating, I took a big swig of wine and grabbed my tools. Got one clamp off...but the other...really well hidden and though reachable with my fingers, I couldn't get a grip with my pliers. After five minutes of fussing, I remembered the kind words of Daniel behind the counter. And I drove back and sheepishly asked for his help.
So glad that I did. It was a hassle. I'd forgotten that nearly every repair on the Dodge was in a difficult to reach place. It took the two of us about 30 minutes and a new set of clamps before we were done. Don't know if I could've done it on my own or not...probably...by midnight...and with more than my fair share of wine. But asking for help. Hmmmm. I might look into that. Occasionally.